The Pilgrimage of the Statue and Relic of Don Bosco to Melbourne concluded with a number of wonderful celebrations at St Margaret Mary’s Parish, North Brunswick. After almost two weeks visiting other Salesian schools, parishes and communities in Melbourne, the beautiful statue of Don Bosco surrounded by his young people and containing a relic of the Saint came to the parish of North Brunswick which has been under the pastoral care of the Salesians for the last 30 years. The celebrations commenced on Friday evening with a gathering of Religious, Salesian Priests, Brothers, Sisters and members of other Orders and Diocesan Priests and Seminarians. Fr Frank Moloney and Sr Margaret Bentley, the respective Provincials of the Salesians and Salesian Sisters, spoke to those present about the legacy of Don Bosco, his charism and the challenges of living the Salesian consecrated vocation in today’s world. During the evening prayer, Fr Greg Chambers sdb (Vice Provincial), Sr Marguerite Nguyen fma (originally from Vietnam) and Br Joseph Kizhakkedath sdb (a young Salesian missionary in Cambodia, currently studying for the Priesthood in Melbourne) gave moving personal testimonies of their own journey with Don Bosco.
On Saturday about 200 young people, coming from the many Salesian settings in Victoria, gathered for a day of celebration. Conducted in a style to capture the “Spirit and Style of Don Bosco’s original Oratory in Turin’, the day included prayer, catechesis, presentations from various people retelling aspects of the life and charism of Don Bosco, including a visit and presentation by Archbishop Denis Hart, all interspersed with much fun, many games, good food and youthful enthusiasm. The day concluded with a moving prayer service around the Relic of Dion Bosco, a concert featuring the great musical talents of those who had been part of the day and fireworks to bring it all to a grand and spectacular finale.
The celebrations on Sunday centred on the Eucharist with masses in English, Italian and Vietnamese during the morning and then a festive procession leading up to an open-air Mass celebrated by Salesian Bishop Tim Costelloe. Many people gathered for this wonderful concluding celebration during which they were reminded to “Listen to the call of the Lord”, as was highlighted in the Readings for the Second Sunday of Lent and as was exhibited so exceptionally by St John Bosco throughout his life and ministry.
Parish Priest Fr Anthony Quang sdb and the whole parish community of St Margaret Mary’s were outstanding hosts for all these celebrations, providing an enthusiastic welcome, very generous hospitality and a very prayerful atmosphere in which to celebrate the presence of this great saint among us, to thank God for his gift to the Church and to come together as a large Salesian Family.